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West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : June 9, 2005


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380

Contact: Chris Cartwright , Environmental Resources Section (304) 558-3370


Volunteers Needed for Ohio River Sweep June 18


  Thousands of volunteers are needed to participate in the annual Ohio River Sweep scheduled for Saturday, June 18, along the shores of the Ohio and several major tributaries.


  This is the 16th year for the event, which began in 1989 as a pilot project in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. The entire length of the Ohio joined in the following year (1990), uniting people from more than 100 counties and six states collecting riverbank litter. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) state environmental agencies and corporate industries sponsor the program.


  "In the years that the River Sweep has been in operation, more than 80 million tons of trash and debris have been removed from the Ohio River ," said Jeanne Ison, Project Director. "Each winter, a new supply of debris, some natural and some manmade, collects along the Ohio , especially after a flood or high water. Last year more than 20,000 people gave up their normal Saturday morning pursuits to collect more than 9,000 tons of trash, which was then recycled or deposited in approved landfills."


  "The Ohio River is a great natural resource providing drinking water to more than 3 million people from Pittsburgh , PA , to Cairo , IL ," Ison continued. "Helping clean it up and keeping it clean are ways to show our respect to this wonderful waterway."


  Each county participating in the Sweep has a county coordinator who will organize the event on a local level. Persons wishing to volunteer can contact 1-800-359-39'77 for the name of their local coordinator. Each volunteer receives a free T-shirt.


  Based in Cincinnati, ORSANCO is the water pollution control agency for the Ohio River Valley. It was created in 1948 by the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia .


  For information about West Virginia 's efforts in the Ohio River Sweep, contact Chris Cartwright , WV Make It Shine State Coordinator for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, at (304) 558-3370.



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